KSA Shark ©

WP win comes up short

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Lions, WP on 5 Oct 2008 at 07:07

Vodacom Western Province battled their way to a 14-6 (halftime 7-0) victory over the Xerox Lions in an Absa Currie Cup match in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

Though win lifts Western Province to 40 points on the standings, it’s insufficient to edge the Lions (41) out of fourth place and the Cape Town-based team have consequently missed their chance to qualify for the semi-finals.

Zelim Nel writes for SuperRugby that missed chances featured prominently as the home team committed countless unforced errors, exercised woeful option-taking at crucial moments and conceded numerous turnovers at the tackle point.

The home team’s urgency for a four-try, 19-point victory allowed the Lions to approach this decisive encounter like a boxer leading on points in the final round of an important bout.

The visitors chose not to engage WP in a toe-to-toe slug-fest, opting rather to hold the home team at arms-length with a conservative kicking game, complemented by rugged defence and a commitment to stealing or slowing possession at the point of contact.

“They had nothing to lose by conceding penalties, and we had loads of scoring opportunities that we didn’t convert into tries,” said WP captain Jean de Villiers after the game.

Western Province scored two tries through flanker Luke Watson and captain Jean de Villiers while flyhalf Peter Grant and winger Joe Pietersen each added a conversion.

Earl Rose’s two penalties accounted for all of the Lions’ points.

The first half was littered with tactical kicks as the home team tried to lure the Lions into a running game with an intentionally slow kick-chase. But the visitors did well to stick to their game plan and merely manoeuvred into position to return the kick downfield.

Western Province launched a number of promising counter-attacks, but their momentum was repeatedly halted by poor decision-making as forced passes were fumbled or intercepted by a blanketing Lions’ defence, or turned-over whenever runners found themselves isolated.

The home team chose to hoof four first-half penalties into touch from kickable positions on the field after referee Craig Joubert punished the Lions for a string of infringements at the breakdown in the first quarter.

But in the absence of lock Adrian Fondse, WP’s lineout wilted under the close scrutiny of the Lions’ contesters, and good field-position never converted into points.

In the final minute of the first half, Joubert inevitably yellow-carded centre Doppies la Grange for intentionally playing the ball on the ground, and Western Province took advantage.

Lock Andries Bekker won the ball at the ensuing five-metre lineout and Luke Watson broke from the back of the driving maul to charge over scrumhalf Jano Vermaak for a short-range try in the right-hand corner as the half-time siren sounded, and Grant converted to give the home team a seven-point lead at the break.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first, with the Lions loose trio feasting on desperate WP runners, and Rose and Vermaak putting turnover possession to good use by forcing the home team to restart deep in their half.

Rose opened the fourth quarter with a simple penalty, but the Lions’ concentration began to waver as they eyed the possibility of winning the match. De Villiers made the visitors pay when he ended a promising foray into WP’s 22 by intercepting a pass from replacement flyhalf Louis Strydom for an 80-metre try against the run of play.

Pietersen drop-kicked the conversion as the home team clicked into a higher level of desperation in the final minutes. But when Rose slowed proceedings down to slot his second penalty-kick with two minutes remaining, it was clear that Western Province were not going to achieve their objective.

The Lions will face the Sharks in the first semi-final in Durban next week, while the Blue Bulls host the Free State Cheetahs in Pretoria.


WP – Tries: Luke Watson, Jean de Villiers. Conversion: Peter Grant, Joe Pietersen.

Lions – Penalties: Earl Rose (2).


  • I found it quite amazing that the side (Lions) that is supposed to be suffering from a lack of decent locks and had to bring one out of retirement, actually gave a side with a current Bok lock in their team such a klap in the Lineouts.

    WTF went wrong in the WP LOs?

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.10.08 07:18:29 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Their hooker can’t throw

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.10.08 08:03:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    But he plays so well in the loose? 🙄 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.10.08 08:08:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I think it was rather digusting that Percy was left on the bench the entire game..here is a 100+ Bok capped player why was he not brought on..

    Everytime I see twatson I dislike the player more and more..if thats at all possible.If he is selected for EOYT then I just don’t know.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.10.08 08:10:23 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • I also think its fair to say that the Duke outplayed Grant on the day.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.10.08 08:14:52 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 4) :

    Sheez I forgot about that. I thought about the difference he would make when they showed him on TV and it pissed me off as well.

    Why bother naming him or for that matter buying him if you ain’t gonna use him.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.10.08 08:15:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 5) :

    All down to your pack showing the WP Boks that they are better than them. 😉

    I think it was you who said you “owned” the breakdowns last night.

    So in summary Rose has passed one and failed one against full strength sides. Next week will be the decider.

    I actually thought you guys did worse with Rose at fullback in the last period as opposed to when he was at flyhalf up until then.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.10.08 08:19:45 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 7) :

    You right he is much better at flyhalf than fullback…yea we totally outplayed them on the ground and I didn’t see Twatson once battling in the trenches for the ball.E Joubert was emmense here.If we are to stand any chance come Sat every Lions player will have to be on fire ..especially Rose.
    I’ll miss the match unfortunatly as Ill be working 😐

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.10.08 08:25:56 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 8) :

    I have a trip planned for next week as well and i need to make sure it only starts AFTER Saturday. 😳

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.10.08 08:29:23 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Peter Grant had an awful game. Bok flyhalf elect? Crumbs!

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.10.08 08:40:23 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 9) :

    Im sure you’ll be able to make a plan…If all goes well I should hopefully be able to catch the second half if we are playing the later game..

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.10.08 08:43:14 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    Any ideas who’ll be the Sharks pivot?

    As it stands Pienaar seems the best bet for Bok flyhalk on the EOYT.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.10.08 08:45:17 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • the Lions lost to an out of sorts, disjointed WP … not much of a showing for currie cup semifinalists

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.10.08 08:55:20 by spykerbaard Reply

  • @spykerbaard (Comment 13) :

    Perhaps not..but yet still semi finalists

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.10.08 09:06:54 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 14) :

    seems PdV was right, winning and losing is the same, winning just feels a bit better 😉

  • Comment 15, posted at 05.10.08 09:16:12 by spykerbaard Reply

  • lol

    To be honest Im not pleased at all how we got to the semis in this game..we had to go for a win here to build a bit of momentum for the game against the Sharks.Oh well atleast the Lions players will have a week at the beach and some shopping and they can look forward to the afer party 🙂

  • Comment 16, posted at 05.10.08 09:20:14 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 10) :

    The Boks will have a decent pack though, not a bunch of imposters.

  • Comment 17, posted at 05.10.08 09:35:27 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @CoffeeShopBok;-) (Comment 11) :

    Nope the game is at 15:30 OUR time 14:30 SA Time.

  • Comment 18, posted at 05.10.08 09:36:07 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • They do that to cater for the possibility of extra time that might have to be played.

  • Comment 19, posted at 05.10.08 09:59:16 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions World
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 17) : Grant had plenty decent ball to work with. His decisions were crap pretty much all afternoon

  • Comment 20, posted at 05.10.08 10:10:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 19) :

    Do what? 🙂

  • Comment 21, posted at 05.10.08 10:15:15 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 20) : He is over rated. Mainly because Boks are so short of quality at 10. He has a decent defensive game but his tactical kicking and decision making needs LOADS of work!

    Not saying he can’t turn into a very good international flyhalf but he’s still miles away at present

  • Comment 22, posted at 05.10.08 22:00:52 by Villie Reply
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